Our Flashback Friday today revisits the fantastic second leg from this matchup in the Champions League Knockout Stage back in 2010/11.
After defeating Bayern Munich in the Champions League Final the year previous, Inter would face them the following year in the “Round of 16”. As you may remember, Bayern won the first leg 1-0, so it was now back to Munich where Inter would have to win away from home to progress.
Let’s jump into the game and relive that fantastic comeback once again.
On level terms early, but then what happened?
It didn’t take long before the score was tied at 1-1 overall, as Inter went ahead 1-0 just before the 3rd minute through Eto’o.
Pandev slipped a perfect ball through to put Eto’o one on one on goal with Kraft. A striker with the class such of Eto’o doesn’t miss these opportunities, and he slid the ball smartly past the keeper to open the scoring for Inter.
Unfortunately the lead wouldn’t last for too long, as Cesar would make a mistake and Mario Gomez would be there to pounce. A bit of deja vu, as it was exactly the same situation as the first leg when Cesar could not control a Robben shot and Gomez put the ball in the back of the net.
A few minutes later, Inter were down 2-1 as a lucky deflection put Muller in on goal, and a little dink was enough to get past Cesar. The current score in the 2-leg fixture 3-1 to Bayern Munich, so Inter needed to score 2 goals to advance on away goals.
Inter were actually fortunate not to be down more not long after. Muller had a delicious touch as the ball slowly headed towards the other side of the line, but a clearance off the goal-line was needed from Ranocchia to save the day. The clearance smashed into the Bayern attacker, into the post then luckily out to safety.
Miracles do happen –
Most people had counted this Inter out before the match even started. Especially since they weren’t the same team who claimed the treble only months earlier. Mourinho was no longer there, Benitez was already sacked and Leonardo was still adjusting his tactics with this team.
This Inter side showed heart, and a spectacular comeback was on the cards.
All it took was one opportunity and Sneijder showed his world class ability. Eto’o laid the ball back and Sneijder hit it first time. An absolute banger of a goal with the ball always curling away from the keeper into the bottom corner. Something from nothing outside the box, and next thing we know the score was 2-2 with 30 minutes to play.
The match would go back and forth for the next 20 odd minutes. Both teams having shots on goal and half chances here and there.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. In the 88th minute, Eto’o would control the ball in the box and run across the face of goal. Pandev came into the picture late and Eto’o was able to find him with a delightful pass.
Pandev hit the ball first time and the ball flew into the top corner. The keeper Kraft stood absolutely no chance as it was a peach of a finish from Pandev. Inter ahead 3-2 in the match and advancing to the next round on away goals (3-3 overall).
The shirt coming off as Pandev celebrated running behind the goal. Soon being flooded by his team mates as the celebrations continued onto the floor.
Minutes later, the final whistle blowing as Inter completed the miracle comeback winning 3-2.
Where were you?
Personally I remember being at work as this match was a 6.45am start in Australia. I was on the phone with a customer helping them try to fix their printer while watching this game. I had to put the call on mute so I could scream “GOALLLLLLLLLLL!!!”.
This is all while I’m sitting around my colleagues who are die-hard Milan fans and they secretly wanted Inter to be knocked out. Even though I’m sure you’ve heard before “we just want Italian football to succeed”, but that’s a story for another time.
It may not go down as a defining match in Inter’s history, but for the last decade this is still one of my favourite Inter matches of all time. It was also a moment in time which we didn’t know it back then, but we wouldn’t see an Inter side of this quality in a very long time. We are now definitely back on track at the moment.
That wraps up another walk down memory lane in today’s edition of Flashback Friday. We catch you next week where we visit another crazy match in Inter’s history.
As always, Forza Inter!